Former President George W. Bush also has a new book — Decision Points — and he made several TV appearances this week to promote it, including sit-downs with Fox News, Oprah Winfrey and NBC's Matt Lauer. One confession in the book piqued the attention of both interviewers and critics, and that was his objection to Kanye West's criticism of his performance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ("George Bush doesn't care about black people"). In the book, Bush writes:
"I faced a lot of criticism as president. I didn't like hearing people claim I had lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was a racist, because of the response to Katrina, represented an all-time low. I told Laura at the time that it was the worst moment of my presidency. I feel the same way today."
"You're not saying the worst moment in your presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You're saying it was when someone insulted you because of that," Lauer pointed out. The former president, still clearly peeved, told Lauer: "I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well."
Lauer spoke to West the day after the Bush interview ran, and West apologized to the president, saying, "I didn't have the grounds to call him a racist. I believe that in a situation of high emotion like that, we as human beings don't always choose the right words." Bush, informed of West's comments, said he forgave the rapper and appreciated the apology. But within hours, West took to Twitter to complain about Lauer's interview, calling it "very brutal" and saying, "He tried to force my answers. ... I feel very alone very used very tortured very forced very misunderstood very hollow very very misused." He later canceled a planned Today show concert. — Kevin Allman